|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (centre) and other leaders attend the 8th East Asia Summit at the International Convention Centre in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — The 23rd ASEAN Summit and related meetings closed yesterday, wrapping up Brunei's term as ASEAN's Chair.
At the end of the meetings, ASEAN leaders and their partners approved important documents, including the Declaration on the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision, the Declaration on Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment, the Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Elimination of Violence Against Children, the Declaration on Enhancing Cooperation in Disaster Management, the Declaration on Non-communicable Diseases and the Declaration on the 8th East Asia Summit on Food Security.
At the closing ceremony, Brunei handed over the ASEAN chairship to Myanmar for 2014.
Earlier the day, several bilateral meetings also took place.
ASEAN Plus Three
Leaders from the ten ASEAN member countries and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea gathered at the 16th ASEAN Plus Three Summit to discuss how to effectively strengthen connectivity among the economies.
They affirmed to continue to prioritise implementing signed co-operation agreements and programmes, especially in carrying out a new road map on the Asian Bond Markets Initiative and an initiative on financial bond development. Priority will also be given to the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), they said.
On this occasion, the leaders approved the amended ASEAN+3 working plan by 2017, agreed to soon implement an ASEAN+3 Partnership on Connectivity, including the consideration of establishing an ASEAN+3 financial fund on regional infrastructure connectivity, and expand the Chiang Mai Initiative.
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said that the forming regional structure is bringing both new opportunities and challenges to the countries so they should uphold basic principles and implement major co-operation orientations mentioned in the ASEAN Plus Three Leaders' Joint Statement on the celebration of its 15 years of co-operation, with a view to deepening ASEAN+3 co-operation and laying the material foundation for a future East Asia community.
He called on ASEAN and its partners to focus on consolidating comprehensive and effective co-operation based on existing projects and programmes, intensifying economic linkage, facilitating trade and investment to serve as a basis for a free trade agreement in East Asia.
The Vietnamese Government leader also emphasised the need for the countries to continue strengthening co-operation in stabilising macro finance through the effective implementation of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralism.
In the 8th East Asia Summit, leaders stressed the necessity of boosting co-operation to maintain peace, stability and security in the region; including the freedom of trading on the East Sea, co-operation to prevent piracy, maritime search and rescue, and marine environment.
At the meeting, Dung suggested that member countries exert themselves to prevent the diffusion of nuclear weapons and other kinds of destructive weapons, adding that Viet Nam would soon join the Proliferation Security Initiative.
He urged ASEAN and China to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), as well as boost negotiations to reach agreement in the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC).
At the 11th ASEAN-India Summit, the two sides affirmed that they would strive for a two-way trade value of $100 billion.
Dung proposed signing of an agreement on ASEAN-India services and investment to be carried out this year, creating an important step toward the establishment of an ASEAN-India Free Trade Area as well as facilitating the RCEP negations between ASEAN and India, and other partners.
He said ASEAN and India should enhance connectivity via road, air and sea ways and digital technology.
The same day, Prime Minister Dung, Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and other ASEAN leaders participated in the 5th ASEAN-UN Summit.
ASEAN leaders and the UN Secretary-General agreed to continue implementing the ASEAN-UN Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership and strengthen co-operation in maritime and energy security, food sustainability and climate change, and the Millennium Development Goals.
Delivering a speech at the Summit, Dung called on the UN to closely partner with and help ASEAN countries fulfill the UN Millennium Development Goals.
On regional peace and security, Dung strongly urged the UN to back ASEAN's principles on the East Sea issue, stated in the Declaration on Six-point Principles on the East Sea issued in July last year.
Viet Nam would soon take part in UN peacekeeping missions - in engineering, army medicine and military observance - to ensure peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large, he affirmed.
Dung and Philippines' President Benigno Aquino yesterday discussed measures to foster ties between the two countries, on the sidelines of the 23rd ASEAN Summit and related meetings.
The Vietnamese leader suggested the two sides seek more trading opportunities to elevate the bilateral trade value to a new level, focusing on agriculture and seafood.
He asked President Benigno Aquino to pay attention to ensuring the completion of the Viet Nam-Philippines Action Programme for the 2011-16 period in the year so that the two countries would celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
For his part, President Benigno Aquino affirmed that he would instruct Philippines' agencies to work with relevant Vietnamese counterparts to carry out efficiently the Programme.
Malaysian PM visits
Meeting Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib bin Abdul Razal, Dung proposed solutions to enhance the bilateral co-operation such as signing an agreement on food security maintenance and boosting Malaysian's investment in Viet Nam.
He also highlighted the importance of co-operation in energy and marine fields. He asked his Malaysian counterpart to continue creating a favourable working environment for Vietnamese people in the host country.
The Malaysian Prime Minister also asked for the Vietnamese Government's continuous support of the long-term investment and business activities of Malaysian entrepreneurs.
Meet Australian PM
During talks with with his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott , Dung suggested that the two sides hold negotiation towards an early signing of an agreement on mutual judicial assistance and a holiday working programme.
He asked the Australian side to facilitate Viet Nam's agri-aquatic products' access to the country's market.
On his part, Abbot affirmed that Australia hopes to promote the comprehensive partnership with Viet Nam, especially in security-defence, economics, development assistance, education-training, and the application of science and technology to environmental management.
The Australian leader suggested the two sides continue working closely together at international forums and in the fields of sea security, trust building, conflict prevention and humanitarian aid.
Meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Vietnamese PM spoke highly of a co-operation agreement on using nuclear power for peaceful purposes which was just initialled by Kerry and Viet Nam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
This is a positive and important move in creating a legal basis for Viet Nam to access US high technology on nuclear power and boosting Viet Nam-US civil nuclear power co-operation in the future, Dung said.
He also welcomed the outcomes of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement negotiations, which reaffirms the participants' determination to conclude the process in 2013 in order to have a high-quality document with balanced interests and taking into account the diverse development levels of member countries.
For his part, John Kerry said he hopes the agreement on using nuclear power for peaceful purposes will contribute to strengthening Viet Nam-US economic ties.
The US government attaches importance to boosting co-operation with Viet Nam, especially in economics, trade and investment and the acceleration of TPP negotiations as well as other agreements between the two countries. — VNS